While setting up a website is an integral part of online marketing, many businesses have found that their sites are either not bringing in customers or are in fact doing their company more harm than good. There are various reasons why sites fail to bring in traffic and sales and in some cases the problem may not be with the site itself but rather the follow up. However, if you find your site has not been doing well for some time, you may want to consider the following five common reasons why business sites fail.
One of the main reasons sites fail is that they have a poor layout. Common problems of this nature include:
- Unclear images
- Broken links
- No site map
- No mobile phone compatibility
Your site is like your storefront. If your storefront is disorganized and customers cannot clearly see what you have to offer, they will go elsewhere. The same holds true of your website. You can fix common site problems by investing in high quality, highly relevant stock images, ensuring all links work properly and making the site easy to navigate.
Slow Load Time
Nearly half of all consumers expect a site to lead in a couple of seconds. A site that takes longer than five seconds to load is doomed to disaster. If your site does not load quickly, you may need to remove large photo files and animated graphics from your site. In some cases, a change of web host may be in order.
Simplicity is often best when creating a successful site. Remember, you want to attract not only computer users but also the growing number of people who use their mobile phones to browse and shop online. As mobile phone connections are often slower than regular ones, a site has to be lightweight in order to load fast enough to attract the attention of a mobile phone internet user.
No Call to Action
Even a good looking, attractive website is useless without a call to action. People need to see clearly what you want them to do. If you want them to call your company, display your phone numbers prominently on the site with a “Call Us” section. If you want people to buy your products online, make sure the online shopping area is easy to find and easy to use. Those who are after email addresses will want to have a sign-up button located in a prominent position or even use a pop-up.
Black text on a white background is always best. Other color options make it difficult for people to read what you have to say. Make sure the font is large enough to be read clearly and choose a font that is easy to view. Some good options include Times New Roman, Tahoma and Calibri.
It is also very important to make sure that there are no spelling and grammar mistakes on the website. These cast your business in a bad light and will make people want to go elsewhere.
Bad SEO Practices
One common reason why sites fare poorly online is that they use bad SEO practices. These include no or improper keyword usage, copying all website text from other websites instead of creating original articles and misuse of off-site SEO tactics such as guest blogging and link usage.
If your site is not doing as well as you expected, consider the five reasons outlined above and see if they apply to your website. You may also want to consult an expert to help you remedy these problems and turn your site into a thriving source of both traffic and customers. Doing so may take time and cost money, but it will pay off both now and in the long-term future.
What have you learned over the last 10-20 years? How do you avoid website failure?